Errors cost Alabama in 9-5 loss to Texas A&MBy Cody Estremera | 04/13/2017 10:48pm
Coming into the game against Texas A&M, Alabama had committed 29 errors, compared to A&M’s 34. After the Aggies' 9-5 victory, the two teams were tied at 34.
Alabama made five errors leading to five unearned runs, which was the most in a game since 2008. Chandler Avant committed three of the five errors.
Two of Avant’s errors led to four runs, two runs an error, while the other A&M failed to score on.
“I wouldn’t trade Chandler Avant for anybody,” head coach Greg Goff said. “He’s a great player and I thought he had some tough plays. He’s been a tremendous asset for our program.”
Texas A&M looked like it was going to blow out the Crimson Tide in the first inning, where it put up four runs while recording only one out. The inning finally ended with an 8-4 double play. Alabama starter Jake Walters threw 30 pitches in the inning.
The next three innings Walters shut down the Aggies, retiring the next nine batters, for 11 consecutive outs leading back to the first inning. Walters threw just 24 pitches in the three inning span.
The Crimson Tide lineup came to life starting in the second inning. Chandler Taylor scored the lone run of the inning with a solo home run to dead center field.
“Chandler is a great player, and great players step up when your team needs you,” Goff said. “I thought that was a big home run for us to get us going.”
Alabama would score two runs in the third coming off a Hunter Alexander triple to right field. The Crimson Tide would push another pair across in the fourth with two singles, one by Avant and the other by Connor Short, leading to a 5-4 lead heading to the fifth.
The fifth is where the wheels fell off for Alabama. George Janca led off with a single. He then moved over to second on a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt. Cole Bedford tied the game with a double to right field. Bedford and Hunter Coleman, who was walked, came into score after one of Avant’s errors. By the end of the inning the Aggies had taken a 7-5 lead that they would not look back from, eventually winning 9-5.
Walters went 4.2 innings in the loss. He allowed seven runs, four earned, on seven hits. Deacon Medders pitched three innings, allowing two unearned runs off two hits and three walks.
The Crimson Tide chased Aggie starter Bringham Hill after just 3.2 innings of work. He allowed five runs off eight hits and struck out five. In his last two starts, Hill had allowed just two runs over 14 innings of work.
“Brigham has been good all year,” Taylor said. “The reason he is good is because he spots the fastball at the bottom of the zone, and doesn’t give away any freebies. I think we got him up in the zone a little bit. We got him in the stretch and thinking about runners on, and the next thing you know we split a couple gaps and it’s a tie ball game.”
Cason Sherrod came in after Hill and finished with the win. Sherrod pitched 3.1 innings and allowed just two base runners, one hit and one walk.
Alabama plays game two at 6 p.m. against Texas A&M. Dylan Duarte is the projected starter for Alabama, while Corbin Martin is scheduled to pitch for the Aggies.